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June 17, 2011

The fates shine on the second Akron Pride Picnic

Copley, Ohio--The Akron Pride Picnic returned to the Ohio Sportsmanís Park on June 4, this year presented by We Are Family Too and benefiting Violetís Cupboard, the Battered Womenís Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties and other community organizations.

It was the second annual Akron Pride Picnic, and the fates were shining on the event as the only clouds, an early evening thunderstorm, passed by to the south, missing the park. Even though it was only in its second year as it is now, it continues the tradition of the Day in the Sun picnic, giving it over a decade of annual LGBT events in Akron.

According to organizers, 200 tickets were sold before the event, but final attendance figures were not available by press time.

Vendor booths were set up under portable canopies in a tree-shaded area, and Cascade Community Church, another of the beneficiaries, staffed the kitchen, putting out an impressive variety of food for carnivores and vegetarians alike.

The entertainment pavilion saw a steady stream of singers, drag queens and dancers, and a dunk tank kept picnickers entertained (and its volunteers wet) throughout the day.

On one of the tables, CANAPI board member and Rangers, Inc. member Jeff Bixby was taking peopleís names and which area high school they attended. It was not part of an organized effort, simply something the retired teacher thought would be fun.

ďItís neat for people to see where everyone went to high school,Ē the Kent State University alumnus said.

The Rangers, a leather, Levi and uniform club founded in Akron in 1988-89, was there selling Pride materials like rainbow stickers. Between their founding and 2006, the Rangers gave out almost $38,000 in donations to Akron, Canton and Cleveland-area community organizations, with a focus on LGBT and HIV groups.

More information about We Are Family Too is available at their website, www.akronwearefamilytoo.com.

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